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By ATWadmin On January 18th, 2007

LEGIONDHONNEUR.jpgI see that the French prime minister has presented British playwright Harold Pinter with one of his country’s highest awards, the Legion D’Honneur. Dominique de Villepin gave the award at a ceremony at the French embassy in London. Pinter, awarded the 2005 Nobel Prize for Literature, is widely regarded by luvvie lefties as the UK’s greatest living playwright. He is also well-known as an outspoken critic of US and UK foreign policy. He has spoken out strongly against the war in Iraq and once labelled Mr Blair a "deluded idiot". Here are a few other comments by this "great" playwright…

"The USA is intent on controlling the world and the world’s resources." 

"Bush is on a par with Saddam."

"Please wash the cucumber sandwiches down with a glass of blood, with my compliments." (In an open letter to President Bush)

"Israel’s injustice to the Palestinians is an outrage.’

You can understand WHY the left JUST love him. De Villepin himself is a loathsome specimen so who more fitting to honour the wretched Pinter?


  1. http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/literature/laureates/2005/pinter-lecture-e.html

    Here’s an extract from his Nobel Lecture in 2005. IMO an excellent summary of the war in Iraq.

    [i]The invasion of Iraq was a bandit act, an act of blatant state terrorism, demonstrating absolute contempt for the concept of international law. The invasion was an arbitrary military action inspired by a series of lies upon lies and gross manipulation of the media and therefore of the public; an act intended to consolidate American military and economic control of the Middle East masquerading – as a last resort – all other justifications having failed to justify themselves – as liberation. A formidable assertion of military force responsible for the death and mutilation of thousands and thousands of innocent people.

    We have brought torture, cluster bombs, depleted uranium, innumerable acts of random murder, misery, degradation and death to the Iraqi people and call it ‘bringing freedom and democracy to the Middle East’.[/i]

  2. Yeah – a great summary from a moonbat.

  3. Which part(s) do you have a problem with?

  4. Whatever his worldview he’s a terrific playwright.

  5. All of it. Mr M.


    When did he last write a decent play?

  6. Pinter strongly supported Salman Rushdie in his time of need, effectively becoming his mouthpiece. Maybe it’s for that courage that the Left admire him so much.

    >>De Villepin himself is a loathsome specimen <<

    His fault is that he was right about the war in Iraq and all the war-mongers were wrong. Hence the loathing.

  7. and all the war-mongers were wrong along…uh huh… along with all the Iraqis that q’d up to vote who clearly endorsed Pinters spiteful swipe at democracy also. Hence his loathing.

  8. Rushdie was despised by the right at the time of the Fatwa. I can remember various right-wing commentators saying that he should not receive police protection in the UK – he was asking for trouble with his book and it was his own fault if they murdered him. There were riots in Bradford (where else?) demanding his execution in the name of the prophet. It was the first time that the UK was forced to face up to the blood-thirsty fanatic side of Islam.

  9. David

    Spotted this summary on Pinter’s nobel acceptance speech and i think it excellent.

    It means nothing to be "pro-war" if you are in denial of the full horror of war and of the (sometimes) shameful conduct of the US and its allies therein.

    It means nothing to be "anti-war" if you are in denial of the reality of life in Iraq under Saddam, and of what democracy and freedom, however imperfect (and hard), offers the Iraqi people in contrast.

    Well put.

    As for prizes – Pinter is a prize prat himself.

  10. his (De Villepin) country’s immense business interest in the sadam regime was, of course, incidental to his position.

    the hackneyed sensationalism in the quote looks like something one of us would write, if this is the extent f his commentary and analysis, a French honour is all he’s good for.

    The leftist war porn rhetoric is again only slightly negated by the fact that they respond only to violent acts by people they don’t like, if this sort of material can be used to condemn a government, their argument itself legitimises the W.o.T.

  11. He stood alongside him because he was a playwright not because he felt the views of radical islam were a threat Peter. If the left were so concerned about the latter why didntthey step in to the fray? where is he now in Rushies attempts to request a reformation?

    Some Pinter delights:

    "Although he believes that Mr Milosevic was "ruthless and savage", he has long argued that he has been unfairly demonised as the "butcher of the Balkans".

    Good grief. That and the mans clear loathing of democracy as a form of government should be enough to make even the cleverest smartypants socialist take a few deep breaths before launching into another accolade.

  12. I have no idea about the content of Harold Pinters art but if he is generally considered to be a formidable playwright then he deserves to be honoured as such regardless of his opinions on world politics and current events.

  13. ‘When did he last write a decent play?’

    David, I assume that’s a rhetorical question. Kick his politics but lay off his work.

  14. Kick his politics but lay off his work..

    Why? Should his art be immune from critical examination.

  15. Certainly not. But don’t dump on a man’s art because you don’t like the man,

  16. I can agree with that point Bono, but I will say David does demonstrate, at least as far as music is concerned the abilty to appreciate an artist’s talents while disagreeing with their politics. It may be David just doesn’t like Harold Pinter’s plays for purely artistic reasons.

  17. That may be, Colm, but it’s a sign of a weak debater to deride an opponent’s intellect. Harold Pinter is an exceptionally gifted and intelligent man. To call him an "idiot" is to appear, well, idiotic.

  18. don’t dump on a man’s art because you don’t like the man..why not he mixes his art with politics. Gifted at what – writing bollocks in both? Feel free to dump on him for either and or both David.

  19. I agree Bono, and Alison have you genuinely followed and read Pinter plays or are you accusing him of artisitic ‘bollocks’ just because his views on Iraq annoy you. if so aren’t you acting rather similarly to those who attacked that Ballerina because of her membership of the BNP.

  20. Yes i have Colm but thanks for the dotted line to fascist. That would apply more readily to people who dont think you can ‘dump on a man’ because of his art?

  21. Alison

    Bono did not say you can’t ‘dump on a man’ because of his art. He said don’t dump on a man’s art because of his politics, a very different concept. I don’t know what you mean buy ‘dotted line to fascist’, I wasn’t trying to accuse you of being fascist in any way. I was only applying the same arguments that you correctly agreed with about the balerina’s artistic job being correctly kept separately for her politics to this situation where Harold Pinter’s literary talent should be able to be treated separately from and even appreciated even by those who hate his political opinions.

  22. ‘why not he mixes his art with politics’

    How do you separate art from politics?

  23. Hmm, you’re making it personal, Alison, another sign of as weak debater. Fascist indeed!

    Like it or not, Pinter has achieved both national and international recognition for work you consider ‘bollocks’.

    My argument stands. It’s one thing to disagree with another’s politics but to call him names for them and to belittle his work because of them is weakness.

    A hypothetical case. David has a bee in his bonnet over global warming. Yesterday our foremost thinker Stephen Hawking warned the world and scientists in general that the ‘countdown’ has begun. Would David call Hawking a ‘wheelchair-bound simpleton’ because of this? Would you? And that’s no straw man because David has already belittled Al Gore for his stance on GW.

  24. Off topic, but out of curiosity, I googled Salman Rushdie. In Wikipedia there is a timeline of the Satanic Verses fatwa controversy, which concludes with this:

    "February 14, 2006: Iran’s official state news agency reports on the anniversary of the decree that the government-run Martyrs Foundation has announced, "The fatwa by Imam Khomeini in regards to the apostate Salman Rushdie will be in effect forever", and that one of Iran’s state bonyad, or foundations, has offered a $2.8 million bounty on his life."

    Not the date: February 14 2006! Further evidence of the utter depravity of the Iranian regime and its religious cronies. And these are the guys who claim they don’t want to develop the bomb.

    The whole timeline is informative. See:

  25. It is clearly a lifetime literary achievement award calculated (surprise!) for maximum political effect. Pinter has stooped to labeling those he disagrees with politically as "idiots" so I hardly see where he is immune to such criticism.

  26. Colm David is entitled to say the man is wretched and that he hasnt written a decent play, whats the issue? Of course he can dump on the mans art because he doesnt like the man as he can decide to do the opposite. Whatever’s Bonos rationale you cannot legislate peoples feelings because you happen to disagree or seek to insist they look at things seperately or in the way that you do- especially not when the individual concerned is very open about his views. eg his own disdain for Bush. Is that Bush the politician or Bush the man? It doesnt seem to bother Pinter.

  27. Alison

    You’re right.

    Personally I hate Jeffrey Archer’s books, and it’s not just because he’s a jerk, it’s also because they’re crap.

  28. ‘Pinter has stooped to labeling those he disagrees with politically as "idiots" so I hardly see where he is immune to such criticism.’

    Mahons, if he did then he’s a weak debater too. I wasn’t defending the man but his art.

    Jeffrey Archer is both a poor artist and a crooked individual.

  29. I have to say I am not well versed in his art. I presume most people would feel he is entitled to his opinions and that art and the artist can almost always be judged differently.

  30. Mahons,
    See how we can agree on stuff when we want to? :0)

  31. Bono – That makes me think I’ve failed somehow. (I kid). Cheers.

  32. Not necessarily mahons – when Pinter himself claims his work is politically motivated it would then be natural to condemn both if you dont follow his mindset. Pinter stated that whereas his earlier plays presented "metaphors" about power and powerlessness, the later ones present "realities" of power and its abuse. If his work is not removed from his political beliefs it makes absolute sense that some would not enjoy either and they cannot be enjoyed seperately.

  33. It is quite possible to admire a work of art and be in total opposition to the political stance it appears to express. What would be the point of looking for your own reflection in a piece of writing or a play?

  34. Hugh

    That’s a point I was about to make. You could disagree with the message of a play but accept that it has been constructed with great literary and artistic skill.

  35. Alison: I didn’t present an absolute. There are times when the two merge, such as that woman who was a brillant film director, yet her films championed Adolf Hitler. I forget her name, Leni or Lani soemthing. She was pretty unapologetic in any interview I saw with her over the years.

  36. Leni Riefenstahl was her name (Google rides to the rescue of another destroyed brain cell in the Mahons head).

  37. Absolutely Hugh – just as it is also quite possible to think the opposite. I dont happen to think his work is put together with any skill at all, its trivial. Im not and never have been into this idea that certain elevated figures in the art world merit the accolades they do much less so when they express an overt political belief.

  38. no i dont think you did mahons. I just find it odd that people insist you have to admire a person in the art world regardless of the politics. why? its all subjective isnt it? isnt that the point?

  39. Colm and Hugh, But where is the tipping point and who decides it? Leni Riefenstahl and "Triumph of the Will" comes to mind. Can one say, "I like the way the film maker interposed running Jews with running rats in an artistic sense" and at the same time say "I disagree with her politics"??

    Also that exhibit of skinless dead bodies is in Dallas. Artisticly beautiful yes, but sub-human and degrading at the same time.

  40. You can absolutely say that Charles, its up to each of us as individuals to decide what we like. You can rule out and rule in however you choose.

    Its not a case of only searching for something you believe to be right or wrong in work and enjoying it as such. What appeals to me wont appeal to another. Oddly though you are frowned upon if you reject an ‘acclaimed’ artist outright! Ive never been one to be told i have to like such and such or that if a critic says someone deserves something they do. Or that i have to ‘concede’ such and such if i dismiss something else. Why?

    Ive also never subscribed to this viewpoint that by virtue of being ‘talented’ (as described by some) that gives you a similar status politically. Its all nonsense really! Such fawning accolades to the undeserving should always be questioned and challenged. (Especially Pinter – lol)

  41. Alison,
    Because YOU think an artist’s work is ‘trivial’ that doesn’t make it so. I take well your point about certain artists having undeserved reputations, but a study of Pinter’s work will reveal its profundity.

    And yes, I think Picasso and Dalí were a pair of shits but their work is superb. It’s easy to separate art and artists when you try.

  42. I’m going to come off as an iconclast, however my question still remains. When can on say " Your lamp shade made out of Jewish skin is very finely done, but anyone who likes it, along with the "artist" can go to hell!"

    Maybe Hitler’s problem was that he didn’t skin his victims and pose them as art, and tour the world as

    "Cpl Hitler’s Lonely Hearts Club Band"

    (No offense has been meant. I merely want to take this to it’s aburd conclusion)

  43. The French also hold Jerry Lewis in the highest esteem. There is no accounting for taste.

  44. Bono – its YOU that wants to lecture me about Pinter and patronise me because i dont wish to concede your point his work is good though i dislike his view. There are a few artists i dont agree with politically who shout their mouths off but whose work i do admire. But that doesnt mean that is always the case. I dont care for Pinters work, its rubbish. Ive said a few times already though – each to his own. you shouldnt insist anyone has to concede anything as you did earlier.

    Good point Charles though!

  45. But here we come to the difference between what is considered art and skill. The point of art surely is to have an effect on the individual. The same piece of art can be said to have worked if someone is moved by it. If someone is left cold by it then it is a failed work of art.

    Skill however surely cannot be just a matter of opinion. Da Vinci was undoubtedly a skilled painter, Shakespeare was undoubtedly a skilled wordsmith but the measure of how great their art is rests in the reaction of each individual who has ever been exposed to their work,

  46. its all subjective. Pinter leaves me cold through art and i dont view him as exceptionally skilled nor even basically so, certainly undeserving of the accolades. Noone should have to insist someone is talented or skilled or concede so when they dont agree – a mark of how unskilled they are! I dont view Ermins work as in any way skilled and as art it leaves me cold. A measure of how truly great Da Vinci and Shakespeare are is surely in how widely their art reaches and touches people – either directly or indirectly. With Shakespeare it is more often the latter.

    Jonny Halliday, mahons – another French icon – i think their intent was to try and jump on the cool bandwagon with Pinter because the french lack cool so badly.

  47. You can be abundantly skilful but still produce absolutely stinking pieces of art.


    I don’t think that responses to art ought to be categorised in terms of liking it, or not liking it. That is a rather reductive view of art. You can be horrified by a painting, but still feel better off for having seen it.

    As far as your question goes, I think that if something barbaric has gone into the production of the piece of art, then a properly moral response ought to take this into consideration.

  48. I’m now out of my depth and must revert to my fallback position. "I can’t define porn, but I know it when I see it!"

    Alison, you’re right, the French lack cool. They have a je ne sais qua, but cool it ain’t.

  49. Chalres: Reverting to a fallback position is one thing, just don’t surrender. That would be too French.

  50. "I think that if something barbaric has gone into the production of the piece of art, then a properly moral response ought to take this into consideration."

    Hugh, that’s it! That sentence is itself a work of art.

    Now if someone asks the definition of barbaric, we’ll send Posh back to the UK. Keeping Becks though! 🙂

  51. Bono, and other Pinter defenders: what is it you like about Pinter’s work?? It’s dated, tedious, pretentious and boring.

    When I was 16, I LOVED Pinter (I was tedious, pretentious, and boring in those days so it was a match) Even though I am female, I acted in one of his plays:

    I played a 30 year old man going through an existential crisis, alone in a room with a table and chair. "This is a chair!" "This is a table!" etc. etc. etc.etc.

    Like the Emperor’s new clothes, Pinter stands as a great writer because noone sees or reads his stuff. Ever. Not if they can help it.

  52. Notme, I had never heard of him, but then again I am provincial.

  53. Charles in Teaxs: consider yourself lucky

  54. darlings darlings, if one cannot understand the existential genius that fills every sentence that dear dear Harold writes then one simply is missing out on one of the most divine experiences of our short lives.. it’s that simple sweeties 😉

  55. Colm, admit it: that quote of "yours" I admired was really slyly lifted from Pinter!

  56. Replace Harold with Jade and youve the same genius but at the opposite end of the spectrum. Anyway.. back to ‘Is it cos one is Indian?’ i mean Big Bro….

  57. in colms comment i mean…!

  58. Cunningham: Colm is just trying to get the French to award him a prize. He doesn’t realize he needs to be more critical of America or they won’t consider him.

  59. Cunningham

    Pinter couldn’t even dream of owning that comment which you so admired. No, modest though I am, I must take full personal credit for that one.


    Imagine Pinter and Goody having a discussion in the BB House

    Harold: "Jade Your desire to protect your Oxo cubes demonstrates the degree to which class opression has reduced you to such inarticulate defence of the trivia in your prolatariate life. You are a victim of a suffocating establishment which destroys the spirit of the common man"

    Jade: "Oi Old man we aint in foreignland now, no need to speak French alright. And anuver fing, Wot you on about I aint common and I aint a man, Blimey and your supposed to be clever an all"

  60. Gosh, twice in as many days I’ve been accused of ‘lecturing’. What can it all mean? 😉

    On art: someone mentioned Shakespeare. When I was a kid I thought his work sucked goat. When I got to know him and my teachers explained his work to me I realised what an extraordinary artist he was. And so I discovered that art is not subjective. The uninformed go for the easy eye candy of the Impressionists; the informed appreciate the edgy and iconoclastic. There’s nothing snobbish about this. Art appreciation is a learning process.

    That concludes my lecture. I’ll take questions from the floor now :0)

  61. LOL!

    So where were you when you disappeared recently – doing a crash course in philosophy or in drama?

  62. LOL. wot? no effin and blindin? I can hear her try and pronounce his name – oi Hawold Splinta…AND ANUVER FING!!

  63. Bono: I think it would be fair to say that art has its objective and subjective elements.

  64. easy eye candy of David Beckham more like. Look i dont need to spend hours working out if a bed stained with urine is art – though i accept it might take you some time to understand it 😉

  65. Alison, my younger son does that regularly and the lady in the creshe says he has an artistic bent.

  66. I’ve now learned that some things suck goat and that a bed stained with urine is thought by some to be art. Quite an informative thread.

  67. I heard a clip from your racist BB from your racist country. I just didn’t hear any rasism. Or I couldn’t understand the chavs that is. I think I heard "so’s ya movver." And to think this trash was spoken about by your PM from the floor of Parliament!

  68. I have an idea for an installation. A square room, walls painted matt black, lit only a single naked light bulb.

    There are twelve speakers. Each post on this thread, beginning with Mr M’s is read by a different voice. The voices come from alternating speakers, sometimes consecutively, other times simultaneously.

    Is that art or what? I’ve no doubt Charles Saatchi would pay at least £500,000 for it.

  69. Bono – well thought out. Perhaps too well. I don’t know if it would be art but I’ll take my share of the loot.


    You should have seen the front page of some of the newpapers here. The London Standard had a banner headline saying WORLD ERUPTS IN FURY OVER BB RACISM and the Sun went one further by even claiming that the World was in ‘crisis’ over the event. Barking mad!


    I must admit that phrase ‘sucks goat’ stuck out for me too. this really has been quite an educational thread. I mean whoever would have thought , Jade Goody, Harold Pinter and the meaning of art would be discussed in the same thread.

  71. Bono, brilliant – that’s pure art. Show it to the French.

    But why the light-bulb?

    Any maybe even change the accents. Thus, mahon’s comments would be spoken in Colm’s cockney, Alison’s in a Texan drawl, David’s in my Dublin brogue and, most provocative of all, Charles Texas in mahon’s best New Yorker!

  72. I’m suprised no one has used the word "sublime". It makes you sound really smart, and no one knows what the hell it really means anyway.

  73. Oh, and the single light bulb is a metaphor for the illumination of mankind hanging on by a thread. Or that life sucks goat.

  74. Cunningham – Clearly the lightbulb represents the everpresent question – how many ATW regulars does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

  75. >>life sucks goat<< LOL – I love it!

    With that sublime image in mind, I’m now off to bed.


  76. mahons, How many?

  77. One of the cutest I ever heard:

    How many Irish folk singers does it take to change a light bulb?

    Two. One to change the bulb and another to sing about his struggle.

    Off to bed now too. Goodnight.

  78. Colm – that Standard headline was a corker. I saw it on the bus. I really did thnk it was the end of the world. Bit like that headline they had a few years back: BIRD FLU: CHICKENS TO BE LOCKED UP. I had images of gangster chickens.

  79. Cunningham – The light bulb would never get changed. David and Andrew would insist that there is nothing wrong with the lightbulb, that the reports of darkness are unfounded allegations by the liberal media, that the tradition of the old lightbulb must be honored and that those who claim otherwise hate the our Judeo-Christian heritage and that those advocating a new lightbulb have their hands too bloody with terrorist crimes to participate in the process.

  80. LOL,

    And I suppose that wire could also be easily turned into a noose!

  81. Of course David could counter that as a typical New Yorker I’d try to change it by holding the lightbulb and assuming the world would revolve around me.

  82. ..their hands too bloody with terrorist crimes to participate in the process….

    and fair enough, that new lightbulb shouldnt be handled with wet hands. we all know why

  83. I think screwing in a lightbulb would be fun – depending on who you’re in it with of course!

  84. right! oh and i replied to you on molly – i dont think you have that right or quite fairly so thought id ‘screw’ it in properly. anyways g’night.